Tile Leveling and Lippage Systems


Joseph Smith

 January 10, 2023. 4:25 PM

MapeLevel EasyWDG SystemA 12" x 24" (30 x 61 cm) tile is now considered an average size! Over the years, tile sizes have been getting larger and larger. Along with that, the problem of lippage is also becoming an issue. Thus, the invention of tile leveling and lippage systems. One of the fallacies of using these systems is that no matter what the substrate looks like, many installers believe that the lippage control system takes the place of floor preparation. This is not the case. These systems are designed to reduce the effects caused by slight variations in substrates and tiles. Lippage systems also hold tiles in place until the mortar dries.

Proper floor prep is mandatory, not voluntary. Tile Council of North America (TCNA) standards require 1/8" in 10' (3 mm in 3.05 m) flatness for tiles with at least one edge of 15" (38.1 cm) or longer. To achieve this, it is necessary that floors be prepared correctly – either by grinding of high spots or the use of patching compounds or self-levelers.

If substrates are not correctly prepped, issues can occur when using these systems. These include tiles being pulled and releasing off from the mortar, or the application of too much mortar to compensate for low spots.

So remember, leveling systems are an excellent aid to eliminating tile lippage; however, they are not a cure-all.


Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Prior to coming to work at MAPEI, Joe worked in the tile industry for 40+ years as an installer, and for 38 of those years he owned a contracting business. He now uses that real-world experience and knowledge to help customers while working as a Technical Support Advisor for MAPEI.


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